You know that moment when everything comes together. Like the ancient symbol of yin yang, harmony and balance? From black and white to color and vice versa? Something is nothing and, nothing is everything. All your hard work becomes an aha feeling. This is my moment of zen. My yin yang. My therapy. I had been waiting a long time. The hoppers were still out and I hadn’t fished since the heatwave took place. It just wasn’t fair to the fish hanging in deep holes to escape the warm temps. It would be too easy to target them. Finally, the weather cooled and, I needed some serious river therapy. I had an instinct of where to go. After all, it’s my home water. I knew of a sweet spot tucked away where fewer people tread. However, I was a little hesitant to hike in due to the fact a grizzly had recently attacked a woman not far from where I wanted to fish. I loaded up my partner and the bear spray. I had an intuitive feeling about catching a beauty yet, I remained cautious. We live in the heart of grizzly territory. We arrived at the trailhead and not a soul was in sight. Hoppers were jumping about everywhere. We hiked in and my husband found a log to perch upon to play his guitar. I studied the water and noticed in the distance, a rise. I trudged upstream, constantly looking over my shoulder to the cliff above and the bushes ahead. Any little sound made me jump. I felt for my bear spray and realized my husband had it. I’d come this far and I just knew it was my turn to catch my favorite trout, the native cutthroat. I wasn’t going to turn around now. I’d give myself a few casts anyway. I found a big rock to stand on and cast my hopper to where I saw the rise. Once, twice, and then it happened, as if in slow motion. The shadow took my hopper and down it went stripping my line to the backing. I knew it must be big. Keep your rod tip up but don’t break him off, I kept telling myself. I couldn’t contain myself so I let out an aha yelp loud enough for my husband to hear. The sound surely would scare off any bears. My blood was pumping as I brought the slab of a fish in to have a look. There it was. The golden prize. The largest and most beautiful pure west slope cutthroat I’d ever caught. I had dropped my net along the bank a ways back so I had to carefully remove my barbless hook with the trout underwater and hope that he was in the video frame before he zoomed off. No time to shoot a still. I didn’t want to take advantage of this wild creature and ruin the ‘yin yang’ of it all. I was so thankful for this moment I had waited so long for. I felt blessed and indeed, privileged to meet this golden beauty. It’s a humbling experience to be graced with a huge wild trout on a dry fly. Definitely, a zen experience. My yin yang was on! As we walked back to the car I felt like something was watching me. It didn’t matter though, I had a bubble of zen around me. And, my husband had the bear spray.
I created this series of stickers and shirts to commemorate the yin yang or zen of fly fishing. Get one for yourself and those who you feel fortunate to share the zen of fly fishing.
To see how I came up with my longtime personal fly gal studio logo sign up for more information on the website, www.troutandcompany.com